Exploring Futures

How you think about the future determines your behaviour today. Sounds paradoxical, right? But it actually isn’t. Thinking constructively about the future is one of the key skills of the 21st century: it revolves around the ability to structure and contextualise information, use interdisciplinary knowledge and be aware of your own frameworks and assumptions.


    Please note: this module is taught in Dutch.

    ‘Exploring Futures’  is about the ability to think long-term and imagine multiple futures. This ultra-long-term perspective is needed to respond to crises such as climate change, ecosystem depletion, and pandemics, and for the transition to a regenerative society. Indeed, our short-term viewpoints have prevented us from recognising the problems and are also preventing smooth (re)action. Our research and policies take place in cycles lasting months or years, while solutions stretch over decades or centuries. And that is problematic.

    Making sense of complex developments, being aware of your own frameworks and thinking in an interdisciplinary manner are skills that will also benefit you as a student. You will become more effective in your personal life and future career while at the same time actively building a more sustainable world. You will practice both your creative and analytical skills and devise practical activities and strategies.

    What will we be doing?

    First, you will be introduced to ultra-long-term thinking and how it defines the past, present and future. You will start with yourself, by mapping out your own past, and then go wider, by identifying and analysing emerging developments on a global scale. We will map out possible futures using the ‘Future Wheel’ and we will apply methods from science fiction and speculative design to bring these futures to life. We will end the course by reflecting on the similarities across the different stories and we will formulate concrete actions that you can immediately apply in your daily life. Upon completion, you will have a clear picture of the opportunities within your field and how you personally relate to them. You will be able to think through ultra-long-term developments and find your way in an increasingly complex world.


    This course will be taught by Marjolein Pijnappels, a transdisciplinary researcher and the designer of ‘future stories’ as a tool for dialogue and creative solutions via the platform wondermash. Marjolein studied Biology at Radboud University, worked as a climate change communication researcher at Wageningen University & Research and ran a design studio for 12 years. She is affiliated with the philosophical platform Future Based and with Speculative Futures Amsterdam.


    The course comprises five sessions held on Monday evenings from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm.

    The course will be held on campus. The Radboud Honours Academy believes that learning happens best when we work together in the same workspace, so your physical presence is required! If you know that you cannot attend one or more sessions, choose another course so that you and your fellow students can make the most of this experience.

    Starting date

    To be announced
    Main Language
    28 October 2024, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    04 November 2024, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    11 November 2024, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    18 November 2024, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    25 November 2024, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Number of sessions
    Marjolein Pijnappels


    Type of education

    Contact information

    Linda Kersten (coordinator Skills Modules)
    linda.kersten [at] ru.nl (linda[dot]kersten[at]ru[dot]nl)